Ahlan Wa Sahlan 🙂
The Arabian Peninsula is well known for its hospitality and generosity. Meals are made and served with a great deal of warmth and usually shared with family and friends. With the same warmth the second GaonKhana was organised at FOA (Flavours of Arabia) located at Ninex Mall, Sohna Road, Gurgaon. On the table was a very thoughtfully designed menu with an array of Mezze, Shorbas, Shawarma Platters, Main Course and Arab Biryanis made authentically with specially imported Arab spices. The menu also included beverages with compliments of Carlsberg & Bacardi and included Bacardi’s ready mix with cola. The event held on the 29th of September 2012 was attended by about 40 adults and 6 kids.
The afternoon kick started with a lot of chatter amongst Foodies and Mezze on the table – Crispy Pita chips served with an array of dips including Hummus, Tabuleh, Fatush, Muhamarra. Kibbeh & Cocktail Sheesh Taouk were being served fresh from the kitchen and were a tad slow to come and as a result they were vanishing equally fast. People wanted more of this awesome stuff, however, they were being difficult to come by. The service definitely could have been better. It seemed there was some sort of a communication issue between the kitchen and the service staff. However, there was not much harm done and we went on to the piping hot Soups. People had a choice and could choose between Shorba Khudra (a refreshing lamb soup) and Shorba Adas (vegetarian lentil soup).
The Chef at FoA, during the course of the lunch, also demonstrated the process of making hummus and tabuleh which were given as a giveaway to the diners at the time of their departure. In a lighter vein, we also had a case of exploding blender top however no harm was done apart from some hummus that flew around a bit. The entrée were to come in next and people waited with a bated breath while the chatter continued.
The non vegetarian entrée comprised of Chicken Shawarma, Falafel, Country fried potatoes with dips served pre-plated. The treat for vegetarians was Zingy Cottage Cheese Shawarma with the same accompaniments. In my opinion while the platter was filling for one person, the quality of Shawarma could have been better.
The stars of the afternoon were the biryanis done two ways – the vegetarians, I was told, really relished the Arabic Veg. Biryani served with vegetables on a skewer flavoured with Za’taar spice and tomato base gravy. The non vegetarian group had on their platter a delicate Arabic Lamb Biryani, Za’taar Chicken skewer served with tomato base gravy. The entire ensemble was absolutely delicious and would take me back to FoA once again.
The dining scene would have been incomplete if it was not Umm Ali and Baklava for desserts. These sweet ending were a big hit with the kids who kept on asking for more. While I gave a pass to Umm Ali finding it a bit on the sweeter side, I could not resist the Baklava which perhaps is the best you can get in Delhi NCR.
FoA has three sections where you can wine and dine – an airconditioned restaurant done nattily in Arabian theme with some amazing lighting and artefacts, an open air terrace with a fully functional bar and two covered tents which can be used for private gatherings. Taste of Arab was held in one of the bigger tents which easily accommodated us all and still had room for some more. Overall a great luncheon with amazing Gurgaon Food Freak – a tribe that is growing consistently as more and more of lovely people are joining in – May we all prosper together.